Today, Indigo lends its support to Scotland’s Most Enterprising School Award. The initiative celebrates those schools that have gone beyond simply embracing the concept of employability within the curriculum to embed entrepreneurial thinking into their teaching philosophy and approach.
Established by the government-led programme, Scotland’s Enterprising Schools, and delivered by Young Enterprise Scotland, the Award is part of a drive to cultivate enterprise education.
The winning school will have a clear vision and strategy for fostering an entrepreneurial spirit that involves both teachers and pupils across year groups and across teaching departments. Crucially, too, the schools making the final shortlist will have reached out to businesses in their communities, creating new partnerships to help identify and develop the skills relevant to the world of work.
When our young people face such an uncertain jobs market, the inclusion of enterprise education within schools in Scotland is vital. Learning by doing, and learning from local business people, provides a model that can support all young people, whatever their academic ability, to develop resilience, help find employment and to thrive.
Today’s school leavers need knowledge and understanding of what it takes to find and retain employment. Increasingly, they also need the confidence to explore the possibility of setting up their own businesses. They need to be prepared for a rapidly changing world.
Young Enterprise Scotland helps to do this extremely well. Its Company Programme is now accredited by the SCQF, meaning that students can gain the equivalent of a ‘higher’ for entrepreneurial aptitude and flair. Indeed, over 300 senior school pupils across Scotland achieved the qualification this year.
Many Company Programme alumni are now prominent figures in Scotland’s business scene.
There are other initiatives too, including Micro Tyco, the entrepreneurial training programme from Wildhearts and Hand Picked from CR Smith, whose clear focus on providing paid for job experience has built up an extensive network of employers ready to help.
So, today’s Award for Scotland’s Most Enterprising School is a means to celebrate an increasingly important element of Scottish education and to inspire others to get involved. The winners will go on to represent Scotland at the UK stage of The Entrepreneurial Schools (TES) 2020 Awards, where a UK winner will then compete in Europe.